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Wednesday, 06 October 2021

New study opens the way to tailoring the magnetic anisotropy of lanthanides on surfaces

by Virginia Greco

In a study recently published in “Small” and highlighted on its cover, a team of scientists including some ICN2 researchers demonstrates a sharp increase in the magnetic anisotropy of dysprosium (an element of the lanthanide group) in metal-organic frameworks on a metallic surface. These results are relevant for future applications in information technology.

Using atoms as “memory elements” would allow reducing the size of electronic devices. By manipulating its magnetic state, indeed, an atom can be operated as a bit of information. Researchers are particularly interested in the elements of the lanthanide group, since –thanks to their spin-orbit coupling— they can provide high magnetic anisotropy and a very stable magnetic state.

Recently it has been demonstrated that individual atoms of lanthanides can be used to store information as bits. The main problem with the isolated atoms is their high diffusion, preventing them to be deposited on surfaces for memory devices applications.

In a study recently published in the journal Small, and highlighted on its front cover, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) based on the lanthanide element dysprosium have been generated on a copper surface and their magnetizations studied. A sharp increase in the dysprosium magnetic anisotropy has been observed in such systems, compared to individual atoms.

This work is a collaboration between researchers at IMDEA Nanociencia, ICN2, ICMM-CSIC, ALBA Synchrotron, and the Freie Universität Berlin. Various ICN2 researchers were involved in this study, among whom is ICREA Prof. Aitor Mugarza, leader of the  Atomic Manipulation and Spectroscopy Group.


Information via: IMDEA Nanociencia

Reference article:

Sofia O. Parreiras, Daniel Moreno, et al., Tuning the Magnetic Anisotropy of Lanthanides on a Metal Substrate by Metal–Organic Coordination. Small 2021. DOI: 10.1002/smll.202102753